The Divine Sacrifice
Who is able to describe the last scenes of Christ’s life on earth, His trial in the judgment hall, and His crucifixion? Who witnessed these scenes?—The heavenly universe, God the Father, Satan and his angels. Wonderful events took place in the betrayal of Christ. At His mock trial His accusers found nothing by which He could be proved guilty. Three times Pilate declared, “I find no fault in Him at all.” Nevertheless he ordered Him to be scourged, and then delivered Him up to suffer the most cruel death that could be devised.
It pleased God to bruise His only begotten Son, to suffer temptation to come to Him, to permit Satan to develop his attributes and the principles of his government. The enmity of the apostate against the Commander of all heaven must be seen. It must be shown that Satan’s mercy is cruelty. What a battle was this between Christ and Satan? It was waged up to the very time of the resurrection, yea, up to the time of the ascension. Then it was transferred to Christ’s followers, and today Satan wars against them.
During His lifetime Christ’s spirit was grieved because His own nation looked upon Him as a root out of dry ground, having no form or comeliness that they should desire Him. He longed for care-worn, oppressed, weary human beings to come to Him, that He might give them the light and life and joy that are to be found only in Him. The veriest sinners were the objects of His deep, earnest interest, pity and love. But when in the greatest need of human sympathy, in the hour of His trial and temptation, even the most promising of His disciples forsook Him. He was indeed compelled to tread the winepress alone, and of the people there was none with Him. An atmosphere of apostasy surrounded Him. On every side could be heard sounds of mockery, taunting and blasphemy. Satanic agencies full of animosity strove to inspire the human family with deadly animosity against the law of Jehovah; and in his enmity the apostate was joined by the professed worshippers of God, for whom Christ had done so much.
The Lord of hosts suffered with His Son, but He did not abate one jot of the penalty. The world’s Redeemer heard the people taking the oath of allegiance to a rival sovereign. He heard them divorcing themselves from God, refusing to obey His rule, saying, “We have no king but Caesar.” As He hung on the cross, He heard them say tauntingly, “He trusted in God, let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, I am the Son of God.”
The Lord permits men to go to a certain length in sin, and then, as in the destruction of the old world, He will arise and punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth will disclose her blood, and no more cover her slain.
Thus it was. The terrible scenes of the crucifixion revealed what humanity will do when under Satan’s control. They revealed what the outcome would be if Satan was to control the world. Those who witnessed these scenes never lost the impressions made upon their minds. Many were converted, and told others of the awful scene they beheld. Many who heard the report of Christ’s death were convicted, and commenced searching the Scriptures. Thus were fulfilled the words, “So shall He sprinkle many nations.”
Christ was the Majesty of heaven, the Commander of the heavenly hosts. But He put off His crown, and divested Himself of His royal robe, to take upon Him human nature, that humanity might touch humanity. As the world’s Redeemer He passed through all the experiences through which we must pass. He found Himself in fashion as a man. He humbled Himself to do the greatest work that could be done for the human race. A beam of righteousness from heaven shone amid the moral darkness of this earth, to enlighten every man that cometh into the world.
Christ suffered in man’s stead, giving His life for the life of the world. All who repent and turn to Him are His heritage. His death proved God’s administration and government to be without a flaw. Satan’s charge in regard to the conflicting attributes of justice and mercy was forever settled beyond question. Every voice in heaven and out of heaven will one day testify to the justice, mercy, and love of God.
— E.G. White, Bible Echo, May 29, 1899